Saturday, August 20, 2011

Conan the Barbarian - Movie Review

Here's a good example of when you don't have very high expectations for a movie and it still manages to come up short. Conan the Gruntarian is simply a bad movie.

Leave it to Jason Momoa to make Arnold Schwarzenegger look like a good actor. Okay, that's maybe a little harsh, but Momoa just isn't that good. Physically, he's fine, but as far as his acting, he didn't bring anything interesting to Conan. It felt like he grunted all of his dialog and then scowled at the camera. I don't have HBO to know how this compares to his performance on Game of Thrones, but I've heard he's pretty much doing the same act. I'm one of the people that really can't see anyone else playing Conan besides Arnold though, so I might be harder on Momoa than others are. I just can't get past that.

The story is just a run-of-the-mill action movie and the dialog is pretty bad, even for a movie like this. So what is the story? It's basically Conan chasing around the bad guy from Avatar (Steven Lang). Why is he bad? He's after some weird mask thing, which I'm really not all that clear on what it does. I guess it's powerful. Anyway, I never really felt like they showed why this guy is so terrible outside of him killing Conan's Dad (played by Ron Perlman) at the beginning of the movie. Conan's basically after him for revenge, not necessarily because stopping him is the right thing to do. You just aren't given any reason to care one way or another. It's all very generic and a lot of what happens felt forced.

I guess this movie is supposed to follow the Conan story more accurately, but whatever. I preferred the more epic Milius/Schwarzenegger version of Conan. It was a better movie as far as the fantasy goes.

There's lots of blood and violence, and I liked the brutality. However, at times it felt kind of fake and cartoony. I think they used a little too much CG. The CG and effects aren't awful, but outside of a sequence or two, I didn't think they were anything special.

I thought the ending was pretty terrible and sloppy as well. My friend also commented on the weakness of the ending as we were leaving.

As it's appropriate for a Conan movie:

Number of rapes: 0
Number of murders: Countless!
Number of boobs: Tons. However, they are mostly from extras. There's a love scene with Rachel Nichols' character and Conan towards the end, but Nichols and Momoa have both confirmed that a body double was used. It's a shame. I also found it kind of pointless, because it's not like Nichols brought all that much to the movie as far as her performance, so I don't see why they didn't just cast someone else in the role and then not had to bother with a body double. Look I don't think a girl should have to take her clothes off, but you read the script before you took the role right? If you're an actress, don't take a role if you aren't willing to do things the script calls for. It's not like needing a stunt double to do something dangerous. It's just being topless on camera for a few seconds.

I do like looking at Rachel Nichols though. She just does it for me. Speaking of hot chicks, I didn't even realize Rose McGowan was in this. I didn't recognize her through all the makeup. I didn't really think her performance was all that special either. I didn't think anyone was all that great in this.

Conan was directed by Marcus Nispel, who's also been responsible for other atrocities like Pathfinder and the Friday the 13th and Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes. I guess he likes gore, but isn't really into story or dialog. It shows with Conan.

I will add that I did see Conan on the D-BOX, which was very cool. You feel every hit and movement and it helps you get into the action. However, if it weren't for the D-BOX, I think I would have been bored. It was also in 3D, which again, wasn't very good. Many times, I took my glasses off because it wasn't doing anything for me.

At the end of the day, there's not a lot to get excited about or recommend about Conan the Barbarian. Skip it in the theater. I think if you rent this, you'll be entertained as far as the action, but it's a stretch to go to the theater to see this. In fact, for now you're better off just renting the original Conan. I highly recommend watching the original Conan with the Milius and Schwarzenegger commentary track. You'll laugh your ass off!

No comments:

Post a Comment